Tacoma church works to get families experiencing homelessness off the street

TACOMA -- A church in Tacoma is working to help get families experiencing homelessness out of the cold this winter.

Altheimer Memorial Church has been located in the Hilltop neighborhood since 1970. During that time, Pastor Dexter Clark says he has seen the area change.

“We’ve seen the rise and fall of the neighborhood. We’ve seen some good and bad go through here,” said Clark.

Clark says for decades Altheimer Memorial Church has provided services to those in need.

“From counseling to feeding, to clothing, these are all things the Lord Jesus Christ told us to do and so we try to reach all of those avenues as best we can,” he said.

The church hopes to also be able to use its space as an overnight shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s a place where they can be secure and feel safe,” he said.

The goal is to allow about 30 people, with a focus on families, to use rooms throughout the church as an overnight shelter.

Services like dinner, breakfast, and shower facilities will also be provided. Clark says hopefully allowing parents and their children the peace of mind they need to get back on their feet.

“If it doesn’t do anything more than help one child, it made a difference,” he said.

City officials say they plan to make a decision on the Altheimer Memorial Church proposal within the next two weeks.